Dog abandoned on street near Helen Woodward Animal Center dies from injuries

An apparently abandoned dog that was found with severe injuries near the Helen Woodward Animal Center on Monday, March 13, died from his injuries, authorities at the center said on Friday, March 17.

Earlier this week, the Woodward Center offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who can identify a person who abandoned a dog outside a closed companion animal hospital.

CCTV footage shows the man parked his car in a shopping plaza adjacent to the center and led the dog down the path towards the center before leaving the animal behind.

“At this time, the man appears to be waiting to make sure all employee vehicles have left the area and that no one will catch him as he abandons the precious dog, which trustfully follows the man as he beckons the dog across the parking lot.” the center said in a statement.

After the initial story was revealed, a woman on the Nextdoor app described seeing the dog in the middle of the street across from downtown at 9:30 p.m. Monday, March 13. The woman said four cars stopped to help the dog, which was bleeding from its mouth and head and looked like it had been attacked by coyotes or hit by a car.

The dog passed out on the street and was taken to a local emergency hospital. The animal died before reaching the facility.

Ashley Levy, one of those who stopped by to help the dog, told the Woodward Center that she would never forget the dog.”

“The look in his eyes will stay with me,” Levy said, according to the center. “You can tell it was an old dog and
was someone’s favorite.

“I have been crying for days now,” Levy said. “My only consolation is that so many people stopped by to help. Seeing the heartlessness of a person on a security camera is good to know that there is still kindness in the world.”

On Friday, March 17, Helen Woodward Animal Center officials said a $5,000 reward for information about a person who abandoned an animal is still up.

“This poor dog had the worst end of her life,” said Monica Petruzzelli, public relations manager for the Woodward Center. “You could say that this dog trusted the person who left it. It comes to him when he calls and then looks so confused when he leaves.”

The dog was wearing a harness, but only the bed and a few toys remained on the leash. He can be seen in the Woodward Center video as he roams the grounds.

In San Diego, it is illegal to leave an animal. The law states, in part: “No one may leave any pet animal unattended in any public or private property. Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of an offense.”

Woodward Center authorities have reminded the public that an animal is a lifelong responsibility and there are options at animal shelters for those who are having difficulty or even those who must give up a pet.

The community is encouraged to contact the Woodward Center adoption department for advice at (858) 756-4117 ext. 1, visit or go to 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

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